The way it works is like this:
First, a favoured or indulged representative of some not-quite-mainstream group or organisation says something offensive or, just as likely, irredeemably stupid.
Second, the first enablers and apologists poke their heads out of whichever university faculty, rights commission or assembly of scolds in which they have found a roost, usually a taxpayer-funded one, and insist that there is nothing wrong with whatever utterance has incited criticism. Most likely these first responders will assert the remarks were taken out of context and this happens because critics’ are shamefully eager to parade their prejudice/racism/intolerance/whatever.
Third, the professional dissemblers — those masters of the misleading analogy, the schleppers of advanced sophistry — gird themselves in militant righteousness and go on the attack.
This very process notably began two weeks ago, when Yassmin Abdel-Magied swore blind on Q&A that there could be no creed more aligned with feminist sentiment than that of the mosque and minaret. How sharia is just, you know, a really, really beaut thing.
First out of the gate in Ms Abdel-Magied‘s defence was the Australian Islamic Mission, which raised a petition objecting to her treatment as a Muslim. She should never have been placed in such position, allowed to make a spectacle of herself, because it is offensive for Muslims to be called upon for explanation of themselves and their views.
Two weeks later, your more accomplished spinners and dissemblers are on the job, with former NSW premier Kristine Keneally setting the gold standard for dross. Here she is in the Guardian, putting Abdel-Magied’s inanity into the preferred perspective (emphasis added):
...every Australian Muslim who pokes their head up in public is expected to own, explain and condemn any terrorist act carried out by any extremist Muslim anywhere in the world. The outrage machine demands it, and then that same machine judges if the words are sufficient.
Why isn’t this same outrage applied to Australian Catholics? If we are going on a body count the Catholic clergy has done more harm to more Australians than extremist Muslims.
At last count no Australian Catholic, a religion in which Ms Keneally lists herself a believer, had stabbed two policeman, schemed to blow up the Holsworthy army base and the MCG, held a coffee shop hostage, shot a computer programmer on a Parramatta street or … [insert the next outrage here]
Keneally’s departure point for this flight of fancy and fantasy is the evidence of priestly abuse laid before the ongoing royal commission. Well she would cite that, wouldn’t she?
To appreciate the Guardian‘s place as Australia’s intellectual S-bend — the spot where grubby muck briefly settles — follow the link below.
— roger franklin